Monday, January 15, 2018

Warriors in Mr. Lincoln’s Army

I always encourage authors of self-published books to contact me directly, but in the great majority of cases I come across their work completely at random. An interesting-looking recent "discovery" is Quita Shier's Warriors in Mr. Lincoln’s Army: Native American Soldiers Who Fought in the Civil War (Author, 2017), a roster and document study of an unusual all-Indian unit, Company K of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters. The 'Look Inside' tool found through the link above reveals quite a bit about the book's contents, which are apparently the culmination of 26 years of research on the part of the author.

Company K was composed almost entirely of Anishinabeck, the word meaning "People of the Three Fires" in reference to the three major Michigan Indian tribes (the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi). All but three members of the company were Anishinabeck. Of the 140 men that served in the unit, a total of 41 men and 1 officer died from all causes.

Warriors includes a very brief overview of the unit's enlistment and service history, but the central focus is on the company roster. That feature of the book comprises most of the page length and is far more expansive in nature than the kind typically found in other Civil War unit studies. In addition to the usual CSR information, the author presents biographical sketches of varying size and depth as well as full transcriptions of letters written by the men. The book is well over 500 pages, so this extra information of all kinds is quite substantial in volume. A pretty large photograph collection is also included, as are some facsimile reproductions of enlistment, oath, and discharge documents.

9 comments:

  1. Wow! I will have to give that a read, thanks for sharing!

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  2. John FoskettJanuary 16, 2018

    This appears to be a very interesting entry - based on a skim at Amazon the biographical detail is impressive.

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    1. Indeed. I wonder how hard the author looked for a publisher. Perhaps there was interest but it would have required a large reduction in page length that the author wasn't willing to sacrifice.

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    2. John FoskettJanuary 18, 2018

      "True dat". A couple of years ago I accessed a book about an artillery unit from New Orleans. It was published by a smaller academic press and contained a level of detail (including biographical) which I cannot imagine would have been acceptable to the larger academics and certainly not to a trade publisher. Fortunately, the author was able to find a publisher because the very volume of detail provided insights regarding Confederate artillery constraints and adaptations which likely would have gone missing after a thorough word-chopping.

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    3. John FoskettJanuary 19, 2018

      Gallant Creoles - the author is Marshall. (I reviewed it).

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    4. Thanks, John. I put in a review copy request for that one when it was published but they never responded back.

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  3. John FoskettJanuary 20, 2018

    Odd - I'm certain that the author would have wanted them to get you a copy. It's unfortunate because IMHO there just isn't enough in the literature which enables Civil War students to fully understand field artillery operations. (And even less on heavy artillery, which is pretty much limited to Crag S's efforts).

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    1. Happens all the time. My independent status still causes lots of problems in getting review copies.

      I agree with you completely re: the underdeveloped field and siege arty literature.

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